Frances Frumin Weiner
1943 - 2021
BORN
1943
DIED
2021
Frances Frumin Weiner, 77, of West Hartford, Connecticut, died peacefully at home on Sunday, May 9. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer. She leaves a sister, Marlene Schwartz (Richard) of West Bloomfield, Michigan; four children: Jennifer (Bill) of Philadelphia; Molly (Jeff), Jake (Maurine) and Joe (Dixie), all of Los Angeles; a stepson, David in Denver; six grandchildren: Olivia, Lucy, Ben, Phoebe, Emilia and Dottie; her dog, Lincoln; and her loving wife and partner of eighteen years, Clair Kaplan. She also leaves behind three quarts of expired sour cream, fourteen pairs of activity-specific sneakers, and the Sunday New York Times opened and folded to the crossword puzzle. Fran was born on May 22, 1943, in Detroit, Michigan, to Herman and Faye Frumin. She grew up in Detroit, where her independent spirit was evident from an early age. She flaunted her school's dress code (it required skirts; Fran preferred pants or her Halloween cowgirl costume) and loved riding her bike to the library. She graduated from Mumford High School, where she played field hockey, basketball and tennis, a sport she would enjoy for the rest of her life. At the University of Michigan, she majored in anthropology, traveled solo through Mexico and Europe, to the consternation of her parents, who only heard from her when she needed money. After graduation, Fran taught middle school social studies and history in Detroit. She married Lawrence Weiner in 1968 and moved to DeRidder, Louisiana, where Larry served in the Army. In 1973, Fran and Larry moved to Connecticut. They lived in Weatogue and West Simsbury. Fran joined two book clubs, and would maintain her membership for the next forty-plus years. In all those years, she never left a book club book unfinished. Fran loved to swim in lakes and ponds and the ocean. When open water wasn't available, she would do a daily mile-long swim at the West Hartford JCC. You would always know Fran had been there by the cloud of talcum powder on the floor of the ladies' dressing room. When her youngest child started kindergarten, Fran went back to work as a teacher at the Woodstock School and Day Treatment Center, where she taught social studies, history, and occasionally phys ed. to children. Rather than being the stereotypical 'helicopter parent,' Fran was a good-natured zeppelin, floating at a benevolent distance, allowing her children to figure things out for themselves. Fran loved all kinds of music. She introduced her kids to everything from bluegrass to zydeco to klezmer to Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie, and took them on trips to see musicals in New York City. She once tried her hand at country music and composed a song called "Stranded on the Sidelines of Life." She was an accomplished cook who taught her children to be adventurous eaters. When Fran would visit her kids at college, she would insist on attending classes with them. She was a student all her life, taking classes at Central Connecticut State University and eventually earning a Master's degree. For years, she would audit classes at Central or the University of Connecticut, expanding her knowledge on subjects from literature to religion to the Middle East. She also attended a weekly discussion group devoted to the New Yorker. Fran was good-natured, cheerful and accepting. She would tell her kids, "It's all material!" an assertion she might have regretted when her oldest daughter grew up to be a novelist. There was no prouder parent than Fran when her daughter published her first novel. Fran accompanied Jenny on book tour, and would happily dispense recommendations during visits to book stores ("Have you read the new Richard Russo? It's great!"). Fran and Larry's marriage ended in 1989. In 1994, Fran fell in love with a woman, thus ensuring that at every family gathering her kids would page through old photo albums, looking for signs and wondering what they'd missed. In 2003, Fran welcomed her first grandchilden, and met the love of her life, Clair Kaplan. Fran retired in 2006. She and Clair would spend eighteen years together, traveling, bickering, going to theater and to museums, hosting parties AND visiting with grandchildren. Fran was an active grandmother, and was always happy to get on her bike or lace up her ice skates or climb on a sled to join her grandchildren, or to take them, swimming, clamming, or hunting for cranberries. Fran will be remembered for her boundless good cheer, her optimism, her serene, accepting attitude, and her distinctive fashion aesthetic, which could be described as "color-blind pre-schooler." She was also famously frugal. Instead of stopping for meals during road trips, she'd pack a cooler full of food, always including hard-boiled eggs, which would fill the car with their sulfurous reek. On outings, she'd pack a "feed bag", its contents included, but were not limited to, several bruised apples, packaged sandwiches that were relics from the school lunches of Fran's teaching days, a jar of peanut butter with a spoon, and at least one unrefrigerated yogurt. Fran traveled the world, from Florida to Belize to Mexico; from Iceland to St. Barth's to Montana to Hawaii, but the Outer Cape was special to her. In 2020, Fran and Clair moved to West Hartford. Fran continued to play bridge and pickleball and attend her book clubs and her classes. During the year of the pandemic, Fran and Clair would Facetime with Emilia and Dottie, reading them Sandra Boynton books. Fran and Clair were finally home enough to adopt a dog and Lincoln, an elderly rescue dog, joined their household. Lincoln enjoyed a life of nonstop affection and romps on the beaches of Truro. He was in Fran's lap or by her side, keeping a watchful vigil during her final days and hours. To honor Fran's memory, please consider a donation to Planned Parenthood or Dog Star rescue, or the charity of your choice, or remember her when you pet your dog, hug your grandchildren, or read a good book.
Published by Hartford Courant on May 13, 2021.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
MAKE A DONATION
Please consider a donation as requested by the family.
MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
Sponsored by the family.
Add a Message


Not sure what to say?



26 Entries
Such a wonderful life. So happy to have met Jennifer on the GAP and learn of her mother. May her memories be a blessing to you all.
Kathi Weiss
Friend
May 30, 2021
So sorry to hear of Frans passing. It was always such a good time to have her and family on the Beth Ann, even if she did bring bananas! She was a nice, good, fun person, I’m truly saddened she has left us.
Richard Wood
Friend
May 23, 2021
I did not have the pleasure of knowing Fran but I've known Jake since 1996 and my heart breaks for him and the entire family. Clearly, Fran was a wonderful woman filled with love, adventure and a sense of humor. I offer my sincere condolences for this massive loss. Fran will certainly live on through her family. - Jason C.
Jason Crain
Friend
May 20, 2021
This obit was thorough, funny, loving and written by someone who shares those attributes. I felt as though I knew her, but I did not. The mention of scouring the photo albums for clues of Fran's love life were most amusing. She was well loved and loved well. Condolences to her family.
Liz
Acquaintance
May 18, 2021
She sounds like an amazing, lovely woman!
Marg Gottesnany
Teacher
May 18, 2021
Rest peacefully Ms. Weiner

TikTok family
S Nichole Means
Acquaintance
May 17, 2021
I've known Fran for more than 30 years when she began subbing in my local women's bridge group, & then again during the past few years at the Hartford Bridge Club. She was always grateful for bridge bon mots thrown her way & was eager to learn more. However, fun was her first priority at the table. I found her to be upbeat, kind, & interested in whomever she was addressing. I'm very saddened by her passing & extend my condolences to her entire family.
Lesley Meyers
Friend
May 15, 2021
My deepest sympathy to the whole family.
Beth
Acquaintance
May 14, 2021
So sorry for your loss, Fran was a wonderful and extremely interesting person. It was a pleasure to have known her........
Patricia Saramanidis
Neighbor
May 14, 2021
Jake, what a lovely tribute to your mom. So much love and fun comes through. Keeping you and your family in my prayers and making a gift to PP in her memory.
Priscilla
Friend
May 14, 2021
I'm honored to have met Fran through her obituary and beautiful words from her amazing daughter and author Jennifer that I was able to meet in person once at a book signing. Thank you for sharing about the life of Fran Kaplan. I know you have joined angels and are watching over your dear family filled with love.
Renee Deyden
May 14, 2021
Rebecca, Laurent, Jack & Eva
May 13, 2021
Jen, I didn't know your mom, but after reading your beautifully written obituary, I felt like she was an old friend. So sorry for your loss, as well as Lucy and Phoebe's loss of their grandmother. May her memory be a blessing.

Judy Baker
Judy Baker
Acquaintance
May 13, 2021
I am greatly saddened by this news. I had the honor of working with Fran at the Woodstock School. She always brought laughter and love into every day. Whether being the PE teacher or the History teacher we knew she would spark the kids into laughter. Frannie Fruman I shall forever smile when I think of you. My sincere sympathy to her loved ones. Rock the heavens Fran.
Marcy Slye
May 13, 2021
What a beautifully written tribute to Frances. May God comfort her family and friends in their loss.
Janet Boggs
May 13, 2021
I will miss Fran, she was able to find meaning in the weirdest fiction piece in the New Yorker, that no one was able to interpret ,she made you look at it from her point of view and we always looked to her for that interpretation and explanation ! I also appreciated her thoughtful very informed opinions on many of the articles and all the different subjects.
I never read a more amazing obituary than this one, to get the full picture who Fran was. Well Done Jennifer ! May her memory always be a blessing ! Veronica
Veronica Vaida
Friend
May 13, 2021
Very fond memories of carpooling when our kids were young. Always enjoyed catching up when she came along with Jennifer on local book talks. May her memory be a blessing.
Barbara Fichtenholtz
Neighbor
May 13, 2021
Sadly, I didn't know Fran, but I wish I had. Her obituary found me through Facebook, but I felt compelled to pass it on, both as an example of how to write with equal parts of heart and head, but mostly as a roadmap for how to live a life to its fullest.
Deb Porter
May 13, 2021
Speaking of books, this is inarguably one of the best In Memoriams I have ever read. I wish I had more personal experience with this Legend of a woman, but I have come to enjoy her spirit and lasting influence through her wonderful, thoughtful, kind, funny and adventurous son Joe. All my best to the family.
Ben Holst
Friend
May 13, 2021
I did not know Fran, but she sure sounded like a wonderful human. May she rest in peace.
Kathy Mazzio
May 13, 2021
Was saddened to read this, but you all did a wonderful job capturing Fran’s spirit. You’ve got lots to carry you forward, am happy to have known Fran as friend, colleague, and co-worker.
Anna Forlenza-Bailey
Friend
May 13, 2021
A beautiful tribute to a life well lived. My condolences to her family and friends.
Elise Edmond
May 13, 2021
I didn't know Fran personally but what a beautiful tribute if a beautiful person and well-lived life!! God bless you, Fran - I'm sure you're enjoying Heaven!
Roberta Ann Marziani
Acquaintance
May 13, 2021
What a beautifully written memorial. Everyone should strive to life a life so someone could write this stuff about them
Robin Condon
Acquaintance
May 13, 2021
I am so very sorry for the loss of Fran.

I knew Fran from the Hartford Bridge Club where I always found her to be witty, cheerful and unassuming. During the pandemic I was privileged to guide her through the travails of on-line ‘virtual’ bridge game and enjoyed our games together.

I will surely miss her.
Linda Erickson
Friend
May 13, 2021
What a beautiful tribute to a life well lived. I’m sure Frances is still having the time of her life in Heaven!
A Cape Cod Yankee
Friend
May 13, 2021
Showing 1 - 26 of 26 results